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Bhangarh
I’m Richard Daves, a second generation Indian American and an ex-internet celebrity.

I watched a ghost hunting show and it was so false that it inspired me to make a show just like it, but where we busted the haunting and didn’t just fake it.

Being the spastic, excited fool I was, I immediately created a teaser on youtube and I spoke about how the Business of Scary is a billion-dollar industry and how they fool people by advertising their movies as true stories. I went on for another 10 minutes about how I plan to visit the most haunted places in the world and prove that ghosts don’t exist and it is all just bullshit.

I was overwhelmed by the response I got. People loved my idea, and even offered to sponsor my adventure, and thus started my reign as an internet celebrity. It lasted a good 5 years. We had successfully released more than 400 episodes on youtube, and never once did we encounter anything obviously supernatural. Though I’ll be honest, we did include jump scares to keep the audience entertained. Don’t judge me, I was now part of show biz after all.

I had returned from Connecticut after filming an episode, and had fixed myself a nice lunch. I was just about to bite into my club sandwich when I heard a knock on the door. I was too hungry and too tired and was going to dismiss, but the knocking would not stop until I opened the door. I didn’t open the door right away, and peeped through the key hole. I saw a woman’s silhouette just for a split second. I flung the door open to catch hold of her, but there was no one there. I even looked around but didn’t see anyone.

I dismissed it as some kid playing a prank but then my gaze fell on a neatly folded red head scarf lying at the door entrance. I picked it up to investigate. The fabric was smooth and it had detailed gold embroidery on it and looked quite expensive. I undid the scarf and a piece of paper fell out of it, on which were the words ‘भानगढ़’. I knew it was Hindi, but I didn’t know to read in Hindi that well. I used Google Translate and it translated to Bhangarh.

I understood Hindi, and could manage to speak broken Hindi, but I didn’t know what Bhangarh meant. Again Google came to my rescue. Bhangarh is a village situated in India. It is famous for its historical ruins, and Bhangarh Fort is considered as one of India's most haunted locations. This brought a smile on my face. I had shot all my episodes in America till now, and had been planning an overseas adventure for a long time. This was the perfect location. I forgot all about how fatigued and famished I was and made some calls.

Within 2 weeks of getting that piece of paper, Mike (my cameraman) and I set out on our journey to India. I had been to India a couple of times with my family, but had never been to Jaipur. After a really long and tiring flight we landed in Jaipur in the evening and slept 16 hours straight. We set out to Bhangarh Fort the very next day.

We had hired a car to drive us around, and Bhangarh Fort was a 2 hours’ drive from our hotel. The plan was to reach Bhangarh at around 4pm and stay back surreptitiously till it was dark and then begin rolling the cameras. I say surreptitiously as no one was supposed to stay in the precincts of the fort at night, per a notice board put up by the Archaeological Survey of India at the entrance. There are guards who come looking for adventure seekers and force them out before dusk. But since the fort is huge, it’s not too difficult to hide from them.

Our driver Ravi told us a couple of spooky stories about Bhangarh Fort on the way. He left us outside the Ajmeri entrance of the Fort (there are 3 more), and promised to pick us up at dawn the next day.

On entering the fort, we saw many temples and palaces, but they were not in the best of condition. We explored the place for a bit and decided on a hiding spot in the fort just before dusk. No one came to check. It seemed like the difficult part was over, now it was simply rolling the camera and recording. I was so, so wrong. If only I knew of the horrors that awaited us.

We were in one of the many rooms of the fort when it became pitch dark. I knew it was a full moon, so it shouldn’t have been that dark. Even Mike was thinking the same thing.

Mike sounded scared, “Rick man, I have never seen a night so pitch black, I can’t see a thing. This doesn’t seem right.”

I tried to sound reassuring. “Relax Mike, I’ve been to India before, and this is how it is here”.

I didn’t sound too convincing, but Mike didn’t argue.

“Do you realize that it’s not just dark but there is literally no sound, either of the wind or the crickets or anything for that matter?” Mike sounded irritated this time. “Or are you going to say that in India wind is mute and there are no crickets and insects?”

I had no reply to his question. He was right. It was eerily quiet and unsettling. It felt like the temperature had dropped almost by 50 degrees.

“Rick, could you at least switch on the fucking flashlights? It feels really creepy in here.” Mike shouted.

I couldn’t agree more, even I was spooked. This place was giving me the creeps. I fumbled the flashlight out of my coat pocket, and pointed it in front of me and clicked. The light fell on something that was mere 2 feet away from us. It was a two-headed huge and savage rabid dog, rather a beast. His teeth, eerily incandescent, emitted a strange purple glow and were as sharp as a fine diamond sword. What fur there had been was tufty and thin, providing no protection to the elements at all. It was looking at us with red hate filled eyes. Both me and Mike were paralyzed with fear.

Our trance was broken by its angry growl. We regained our senses and bolted out of the room. I could literally feel the beast’s breath on my neck. We must have run for a good 10 minutes before we sensed we had lost him. We were out of breath and panting heavily.

After gaining his breath Mike said, “Fuck dude, this is not happening. I can’t do this. Let’s get out of here. This place is indeed haunted.”

“Just because you are chased by a dog doesn’t mean the place is haunted. Stop being a sissy.” I snapped. I was not going to give up so easily and ruin everything I had built in the last 5 years because of some rabid dog.

Mike sounded angry, “Fuck man, you are crazy. How many 2 headed dogs have you seen in your life, huh? Did you see the teeth on that thing? Did it look normal to you? I don’t care if you want to stay, but I sure don’t. I’m calling Ravi and asking him to pick me up. You can fly solo on this one.”

Before I could argue with Mike, we heard an ear-splitting scream. It sounded inhumane. Before we could react, it came again, and this time it was louder and closer than before. I didn’t need any convincing this time.

“Mike, let’s get out of this godforsaken damned place. Whatever cursed creature is making that noise would be upon us in no time, let’s try to get to the main entrance and then call Ravi.” I didn’t get any reply from Mike, so I shone the flashlight on him, and what I saw filled me with dread.

Mike’s mouth was sewn shut with what looked like human hair, and he didn’t need words to describe the horror and pain he felt as it was evident in his eyes. Towering above Mike, as tall as a double-decker bus, was a creature straight from the very depths of hell, an abomination. The leathery skinned creature was the most hideous being one could lay their eyes on. It began to emit a series of squeaks and clicks. It reeked of raw sewage and rotten fish. I will never forget the look in its evil eyes, it was grinning from ear to ear and it was the ugliest grin.

It was holding Mike with its clawed hands. Drool dripped from its mouth, and phlegm oozed from its nostrils. It didn’t take an expert to guess that Mike was the monster’s meal. I am not a coward, but I’m not stupid either. I knew I couldn’t save Mike. Just when the Monster was about to take its first bite of my friend I made a dash. I could never forget Mike’s dying screams, sometimes I wish I could though. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. My heart and lungs were burning and after running for what felt like forever, I fell face-forward on the cold floor. I didn’t try to get up, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I had run so far, still I was in the fort and nowhere near the exit. It seemed like a loop I could never get out of.

I cried like I had never cried before. I felt so helpless, I had just left my friend to die in the worst manner possible. I was responsible for his death. All this happened because I didn’t believe in the supernatural, and now the supernatural came to bite me. This was so ironic. Despite the circumstances, I started laughing and then crying and then wailing.

This went on for what felt like hours. I finally mustered the energy to stand up on my feet. I had lost the flashlight while trying to escape, but still had my mobile phone on me. With renewed hope I unlocked it to call Ravi, but fate was not on my side. There was no network. I tried moving around to get at least a single bar, but in vain.

I checked the time on my phone. It was 3am, that meant I had to survive 3 more hours before the sun came up, and this nightmare could end. This filled me with new hope. I tried to assess my surroundings to see if I could spot a window or another possible exit. There were none, this was a torture chamber. There were chains, shackles, manacles and whips of all sort. There was a sword hanging on the wall opposite me, and it had fresh blood on it. I had seen enough to know better to run for my dear life, when something tugged at my ankle.

I looked down and from the light emitting from my phone saw a partially decomposed being, which could have been a man once. He was cut in half, the part from the waist down was missing. His eyeballs were hanging out of his eye sockets. The room smelled like rotten meat. The man was dragging himself towards me while make gurgling noises. It sounded like ‘Bachao Baabu’, which is Hindi for ‘Save me Sir.

I kicked at him and bolted out of there. I ran for a while before I tumbled down a flight of stairs. I heard my bone crunch, and an immense pain shot up from my left-hand to my shoulder. I clutched my hand and cried out.

Just then my cell phone rang. Despite the pain I got excited, what if it was Ravi checking up on us? I reached out for my phone to answer the call. Mike’s name was flashing on the screen. With shivering hands, I answered it. It was Mike screaming, which was followed by the inhumane screams. I threw my phone away and it hit something hard and broke. I cried again and wished for this to be over. I had lost both my cell phone and my hope of escaping alive from this place. I decided to just stay where I was and await my impending doom. There was no point fighting now.

I must have been still for what seemed like hours when I heard something in the distance. It sounded like anklet bells. I knew this sound as my grandmother too wore those. I briefly decided to run, but what good would that have done in the dark? I would fall again and suffer. Instead, I closed my eyes and waited.

Nothing happened. I finally opened my eyes and standing in front of me was the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on. She was dressed like an Indian bride, in a bright red sari. The material of the sari was the same as that of the scarf I had found left on my door the other day (I realized this much later though). She had a lot of jewelry on her, and smelled like jasmine. She was holding an oil lamp in her hand and was smiling at me. After all that happened, I should have suspected that the monster was playing tricks on me. But she didn’t scare me at all. She was like an oasis in the desert, an angel. I forgot all my woes, and smiled back at her.

Bride

All exchanges between me and the bride (I never learned her name) happened in Hindi, but I’ll keep it simple and relate it in English.

“What are you doing here? Are you hurt?”. She sounded concerned.

“Yes, I think I broke my arm.” I replied.

“Do you want to get out of here?” She asked.

“Hell yes, who wouldn’t?” I sounded excited. She chuckled at this.

“Ok, follow me, I will help you escape. But no matter what, don’t look behind you.” She said.

I obliged.

While we were walking I heard my name being called many times, one time it was my mother, another time it was Mike calling out for help, pleading me to save him. But when I didn’t respond he cursed me and called me a back stabber and a coward. I was so tempted to turn around and explain myself to Mike, but I knew he was dead. It was the evil here trying to trap me one last time.

We must have walked for about 20 minutes in silence when I could finally see the exit. I was so thrilled. The bride looked at me and said in a serious tone:

“Remember this Rick, he wants a life for a life. Because I’m setting you free, he will come to get your first born.”

It didn’t make much sense to me then, all I could see was my freedom from this nightmare. I could see the first rays of the sun. I turned around to thank Bride, but she was nowhere to be seen.

The next couple of days were a blur. Police never found Mike’s body or the camera. The case was closed as a missing person. I obviously couldn’t tell the truth, no one would have believed me anyway. I cut all ties with my crew and deleted all the videos from Uoutube.

I never forgot about what happened to me or Mike. I still carry that guilt, but life moves on. It’s been 4 years since that incident, and since then I have found a decent paying job, found love and got married. Life got back on track.

But today my wife told me she is pregnant, and I’m very scared for my child.

Written by MonicaMishra0607
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